Best Travel Writing by Women

Women and Travel: Best Travel Writing

My Mom Friend Carol is one of the most interesting and kind-hearted people who I know and now she’s reinvented herself mid-career as a writer. And oh, what an outstanding writer she is. She is published in The Best Travel Writing by Women, 2011 which comes out in a week, and her book will follow that.

But first, here is how I’d describe her:

Ten Things You Might Not Know About Author Carol Reichert

1. She runs a “community” yoga class out of her house …

2. … yet she’s so busy, she rarely is able to join! (She says she appreciates the good karma created by the class).

3. The type of “TLC” training classes she created for the pharmaceutical industry included acting out a custom written script of Law and Order … with the training built into the script!!!

4. Her husband is a photographer.

5. Before that, he wrote the hit song Devil in a Blue Dress.

6. Their hosting abilities are legendary.

7. Their parties are rumored to end at 5 a.m. or last man standing. OK, maybe not the church ones, but they always graciously agree to host school fundraisers and those go quite late!

8. She always finds the glass to be half full.

9.  I’ve never seen her in a bad mood.

10. As a member of the counter-culture, she’s shocked to be living in suburban Boston  … but we are all glad to be neighbors!

The Best Travel Writing by Women, 2011

A portion of the chapter published in the book is here in the Boston Sunday Globe Travel Magazine (and it’s gorgeously written! Think Eat, Pray, Love then remove the neurosis, the divorce, and the boring bits).

1) It’s ironic that we both had the same disastrous teacher and it’s resulted in your going to Spain and my starting this blog (and our children’s book club for that matter). How did you get the courage to uproot to Spain? Was it a series of small decisions or one big one?

I t was one big act of desperation. I was so unhappy personally and unhappy for my son and then my daughter because they had the same unfit teacher. I needed to run away. I needed to throw all the cards in the air and start over. There’s a Hebrew saying “meshane makom,” which means if you change your location, you can change your fortune. This proved to be true for me.

2) When did you start writing and when did you decide to pursue it professionally?

I enjoyed writing as a kid and I’ve kept a journal since I was 20 years old. After graduate school, I wanted to write professionally. I got a few pieces published, but I was too afraid to write fulltime as a freelancer. I always felt that becoming a street person was just one step away. I’ve read that a lot of women have this fear. When I had the opportunity to start my own company, I went forward with it. But I never let go of the dream to write and now I’m finally doing it.

3) Tell me more about your desire to dance. Were you always interested in Flamenco? Have you studied or are you interested in other forms of dance?

I’ve always been interested in dance. As a kid, I took the usual programs–ballet and tap. As an adult, I become interested in other forms of dance–jazz, hip hop, African dance. When I saw my first flamenco performance, I was knocked off my feet, mesmerized by the passion and soul and expressiveness. I had to study it.

4) What’s next for you after your own book gets published? Are plans being laid to live abroad again soon? What country?

I would love to move to Argentina and have our kids attend a local school like they did in Spain. I’ve talked to them about this, but they’re balking. Living in Spain changed their lives and they both say that they wouldn’t trade in the experience for anything. But they’re so entrenched in their own lives now that unless we forced it, they don’t want to move. I’m sad about that, but I want to respect it. I’m hoping they’ll change their minds.

5) When your book gets turned into a movie, who would be your pick to play you? How about your husband? That mean Flamenco teacher? I was thinking Javier Bardem for the Flamenco teacher? What do you think?

I love your ideas. Wow, my husband. This stirs up a lot of fantasies. He’s on the older side. So maybe Ben Kingsley. He’s funny. Possibly Robin Williams. My husband says Stanley Tucci. He’d be perfect. I think Javier Bardem would be great as the mean flamenco teacher. I picture him in No Country for Old Men. So nasty.

(Carol picked Susan Sarandon to play her. Nice pick!).

6) You have this wonderful “can do” attitude that always takes lemons and turns them into lemonade. Were you always like this or is this something you’ve worked on?

I was always like this. My father used to tease me about how optimistic I am. As I get older and deeply experience life, I feel even more that it’s filled with infinite possibilities. But you have to have burning desire. Could we turn those lemons into a tasty sangria?

7) What is your daily writing routine?

I try to write 5 days a week. I walk to the Newton library and sit in a study room facing a blank wall. I call it my sensory deprivation chamber. Two years ago, I could only write for an hour or two. I found it so painful. Now even after writing for five hours, I can go longer. I hate it when my time is up.

8) Do you have any other book projects percolating?

I’m very interested in prisons and in the idea that one small decision (bad or good) can change your whole life. I’m thinking about writing a book about this.

9) What is left on your Life To Do list?

Lots of travel–South America, Indonesia. After my kids move out, I’d like to join the Peace Corps. I’d love, just once in my life, to perform with my flamenco teacher, Carmen. I’m still working on my Spanish. I had alliterative mantras: Fluent by 40, Fluent by 50. I missed those deadlines. Now I’m shooting for Semi-fluent by 60.

My Photo(yes, this actually IS her passport photo!)

 

Carol will be doing readings in the coming months in Boston, New York City, maybe even Havana and Berlin.

She says, “Life has a way of giving you what you want if you wish hard enough.” That is sooo her!

To examine her book more closely at Amazon, please click on image of book.

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By Mia Wenjen, PragmaticMom

14 Comments

  1. Thanks for your inside scoop on the friend and author, plus the boost for wishing good things!

  2. So interesting to read more about a dear friend! We all know the same woman but we all know her in our own special way-like the multiple facets on a sparkling diamond (although I think of emerald more her color).

  3. Sam Shereda

    I want to join the fan club!(she’s my mom)

  4. Carol Reichert

    Mia, thank you so much for this wonderful post. I love your blog so much.
    Carol

  5. Nice interview. I love a bit of personal insight into a book I’m reading. And I plan to read this one… 🙂

  6. Love her writing – already a huge fan!

    • To Capability:Mom,
      Carol Richert is so talented. I had the opportunity to see her do a book reading at Brookline Booksmith and she’s so modest and approachable. There were 4 authors from the book there but she was the one that was mobbed by the audience afterwards.

  7. Helenita

    I represent the Spanish branch of Carol Reichert’s fan club – she rocks!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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